How did you get into fishing, and what has kept you?

Ollie_brum88

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For me it was 12-ish years ago when I first started. An old school friend of mine was having some issues with drink/drugs. His world had spiralled and he was in the throes of some sort of breakdown, he was waiting for a place in a rehab centre. I insisted he came to stay with me until he got his placement sorted. I took a few weeks off work to keep him on the right path. We were stuck on what to do. My life revolved around the pub and work, which wasn't an option for obvious reasons. We went for a walk one evening and found a skip with a rod poking out, he pulled it out and saw it had a reel with some line on. He suggested we go fishing on a local reservoir, this was early winter in the early evening so I wasn't exactly chomping at the bit to go. We ended up driving down, not knowing where to go and with little idea of what we were doing. Long story short, we exchanged some fags for some hooks and bait with some polish fella (who in hindsight was likely poaching) and he told us about the carp in there. My friend had fished before, so we just about managed to cobble together a fishable rig...although we had to use a battery we found as a ledger! We sat under the stars putting the world to rights for many hours and eventually got a bite, we both had a go bringing it in...it felt like a monster at the time as we were a little naive. It came off and we were devastated, although that turned out to be the catalyst that motivated us to keep trying for days after. We tried and tried each evening, beg/stole/borrowed some more tackle. Eventually our efforts paid off, and we landed a fish, I think my face says it all in the picture below! My first ever fish, and the moment I was fascinated by fishing. Eventually he left for rehab and went on to turn his life around, and I was left with the bug for fishing and fished ever since. For me, fishing became a means to recharge and unwind that didn't involve pouring 10 pints down my throat, being in nature really grounds me and has become quite critical for me.

Anyway, interested and curious about everyone elses experiences.
 

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Zerkalo

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That's a great story mate, mine is more simple. My dad was an angler and took me as a kid so I have him to thank. But I also have to thank the Starlets Junior Club in Birmingham, they took us out to fish club matches every Sunday. I was very lucky that my dad funded my tackle and bait. Ken and Janice Aske who ran the club deserved a knighthood for their services. Then around age 19 I went off to university and discovered other things, only went fishing a couple of times each summer at Tunnel Barn Farm and Blythe Waters. Then I moved house 5 or so years ago, had nothing to do, then realised I live next to loads of good fishing places so got back into it properly.
 

Ollie_brum88

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That's a great story mate, mine is more simple. My dad was an angler and took me as a kid so I have him to thank. But I also have to thank the Starlets Junior Club in Birmingham, they took us out to fish club matches every Sunday. I was very lucky that my dad funded my tackle and bait. Ken and Janice Aske who ran the club deserved a knighthood for their services. Then around age 19 I went off to university and discovered other things, only went fishing a couple of times each summer at Tunnel Barn Farm and Blythe Waters. Then I moved house 5 or so years ago, had nothing to do, then realised I live next to loads of good fishing places so got back into it properly.
I've heard all about the infamous "Gail" ! Was she there when you went? If you're ever bored check out the Blythe Waters google reviews.

I feel like match fishing gives a great basis for carp fishing, so many carpers lack basic skills...myself included! I've done it back to front to most, started with carp and now trying my hand at the commercial/match style with a view to try a few opens next year.

Know what you mean about good venues on your doorstep. I don't drive but so many mill pools/canals/parklakes within walking distance.

I don't think the fishing bug ever goes away, once an angler always an angler.
 

Zerkalo

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Yeah I seem to remember there was a 'stormtrooper' at Blythe, :LOL: but don't remember any particular beef. I lived Acocks Green so although there were a few parks and stuff round there, they were the closest venues really.
 

gingert76

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we used to go to the local river as a whole family, mum dad, us three younguns and one of my older siblings typically would head out on a sunday and just rove along the river roding fishing as we went, mum often out fished dad! god i bloody loved those days!!!!

Also if we werent fishing we would go for river walks where we would get in teh river and walk along in it for miles, was a lot of fun.

I miss my fishing now but hoping i can find a local sport fishing boat or something here
 

Ollie_brum88

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we used to go to the local river as a whole family, mum dad, us three younguns and one of my older siblings typically would head out on a sunday and just rove along the river roding fishing as we went, mum often out fished dad! god i bloody loved those days!!!!

Also if we werent fishing we would go for river walks where we would get in teh river and walk along in it for miles, was a lot of fun.

I miss my fishing now but hoping i can find a local sport fishing boat or something here
Sounds a lovely way to spend the day as a kid! My uncle always offered to take me when I was little, just didn't appeal to me at the time...I think I missed out on some great memories.
 

Greeny1178

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Started with dad as a youngster, best thing he showed me probably, living in South Wales had lots of outdoor stuff to do , river , dunes, beach , fields so loved it ever since and being outside , had times where fishing has been a life saver but also something to look forward too. I just love it , even more when dad comes with me , but since he’s had both knees done it’s mainly lakes ; with no long walks . But I like to catch different species though out the year.
 

Total

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Yeah I seem to remember there was a 'stormtrooper' at Blythe, :LOL: but don't remember any particular beef. I lived Acocks Green so although there were a few parks and stuff round there, they were the closest venues really.
There's a bloody hooligan at the local park now, especially on the 'Bench' peg! :oops::p:ROFLMAO:
 

Trent_Fisher

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My dad took me and my sister as kids, started off really simply down at a local lake fishing the 3 metre whip and maggots. Caught plenty of roach, perch and Gudgeon and the odd small skimmer.
Fished like this throughout my childhood years until I was a teenager and started to really discover different kinds of fishing. Reading online forums such as this one and others really made me realise the variety of fishing on offer. I tried as many different kinds of fishing as I could throughout my teenage years and had some brilliant days learning new things and exploring some fantastic lakes.

Throughout my late teens and early 20’s I lost my way with fishing a bit, still used to go but could never really settle on an aspect of it that I properly loved and toyed with the idea of selling up on a few occasions.

A few years back I was fortunate to join a fantastic club with a good friend of mine and since then I’ve never looked back. I have fantastic venues on my doorstep and some terrific fishing even further afield depending on what I want.

I think finding someone likeminded who likes the same angling disciplines as me and shares in my passion to get out there and chase PB’s has kept me fishing and reignited any passion that I had lost for it. Im not sure I could go back to just fishing the odd day on a day ticket water with no company.
 

Silverfisher

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All the blokes in my family fished to some extent so I just carried on the tradition I guess. As to what’s kept me doing it I just like it I guess simple as that
 

Trent_Fisher

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All the blokes in my family fished to some extent so I just carried on the tradition I guess. As to what’s kept me doing it I just like it I guess simple as that
When people I work with or associate with ask me why I fish I can never really give an answer. I think it’s something that’s ingrained into you and you never lose that feeling.
 

Fugley-fisher

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My brother started fishing with a mate of his they joined a local club that had a junior match section, after going in the car with my parents to drop him off I started to show interest.

I also joined the local club started with the juniors, two chaps run the juniors Tony Moody, Ron Barratt with the help of parents to ferry us kids about primarily on the river but as we fished inter club matches ponds and larger lakes began to feature.

After every regular club match Tony or Ron would show us another technique, depending on venue flow swim ect, they are responsible for showing a huge number young anglers the ropes
I went on and fished some senior matches running the bank on senior inter club matches.

This lasted untill my other passion kicked on cricket I played nearly every weekend in England Australia West indies, but professional cricket was not meant to be. (I was not good enough)

Back to reality work family and 25 years retirement from cricket, (to old unfit and not good enough ) rekindled my love of fishing mostly pleasure, but I do fish the odd match when work/family commitments alow, on those matches I still fish with few old faces namely John Moody Tony's son.
 

G0zzer2

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A book got me into fishing: "Come Fishing With Me" by Colin Willock. Iread it doezens of times, and a few years ago I bought a copy.

I started with a bamboo cane (lashed to the crossbar of my bike when I went), and old centrepin reel, silk line (which needed treating with Mucilin after use) and a proper hook bought from a local tackle shop. My first fish was a foulhooked bream of about half an ounce. That was in the 50s, when it was illegal to use bread for bait!

Then a friend of a lady I used to visit, a well-known local matchman, offered to take me on a bus to King;s Lynn and we bought a proper rod (hollow metal which rusted thropugh eventually). He took me fishing a time or two. I was 11, and I have never stopped fishing since then. I used to cycle up to 15 miles to club matches.

Since then I've matchfished all over the UK, even up to Loch Ken in Scotland, fishing for roach. Yet my father wasn't the slightest bit interested in fishing.
 

Millers Thumb

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Not a lot of hobby choice when I was a kid...train spotting, collecting dinosaur eggs, or fishing!!! bought a complete set of tackle off my late uncle around 1962 with my paper round wages never looked back since, I will be 72 next year and still as keen about the sport as ever.
 

Simon R

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Fishing for me really started around 1978 as it was a bit of a craze at school. There were probably about six or eight of us who started fishing at about the same time - there were two lads at school who'd fished with their fathers or brothers from an early age so they were our initial 'mentors'. Problem was that a lot of their experience was fluff-flinging or game fishing in general so although they knew the basics they weren't a huge amount of help when it came to the local park lakes where the majority of our fishing was done.

I bought my first gear from a little pawnbrokers in Middlesbrough - it was an Aladdin's cave of a shop but old man Greenwood knew where everything was. The rod was an unbranded brown fibreglass rod just shy of 11' long - it was a bit battered and creaked alarmingly when pressed into service as a leger rod. The reel was a bright green South Bend and I never have figured out how a reel from one of the biggest fishing tackle companies in America, who never sold gear in this country ended up in a back street pawn shop in North Ormesby. I bought a smattering of terminal tackle from Anglers Corner and didn't, initially bother with expensive things like landing nets and keep nets - to be honest the former were rarely necessary anyway and the latter were only for posers:p

There wasn't a huge amount of choice of tackle for 'pocket-money' prices. Almost everyone had a Shakespeare Strike rod - or it's badge engineered variants from Milbro and Argos. Other rods that I recall were the Winfield Roach Fisher, Rodrill Yellowhammer and various unbranded rods (some solid glass, some hollow) that were generally pressed into service for pike fishing. Mitchell 300/410/440 and ABU 506 etc were available but way beyond our meagre income - reels were the small Mitchells - 307/308, Shakespeare Ambidex, one of the new skirted spool Daiwa reels or if you were really unlucky an Intrepid Black Prince:poop:

Those of us who stuck at it saw our gear improve as parents realised it wasn't just another craze. I got the Bill Knott copy (Fibatube blank) of the original Hardy Carbon spliced tip in about 1980 - one of my pals got the Hardy version and they were identical other than the colour of the whippings. Shakespeare Alpha leger and carp rods came my way - I've still got the former and other friends got the Match International and early Normarks. We used to buy part-finished blanks, whip our own rings on and splice a donkey-top in the end to make bespoke tip rods. We all had poles too - glass fibre of course - LERC, Luxor and Garbolino were the brands we aspired for - LERC were the most affordable - there was a sand coloured model that was very stiff (but only available up to 6m) and a green one that was much softer but strangely available up to 8m. Ray Mumford lent his name to a bright orange creation (East Anglian Rod Co?) and I got an 8m Luxor Grand Prix for Christmas.

Many blanks and days of catching a couple of stunted roach from Albert Park and Hemlington Lake followed. Some of our fathers could be persuaded to get up at daft o'clock on a Sunday morning to take us further afield to slightly more prolific venues - Poole Hospital Pond, Tontine Lake and Hutton Rudby ponds were all favourites. River wise we'd go on the Tees at Yarm, the River Seph in Bilsdale and, since my family owned a static caravan in Wensleydale, the River Ure.

There was no closed season in the Northumbrian Water area on stillwaters, so the spring Hemlington Lake series was insanely popular - it was usually a 40 peg sell-out, although one year Middlesbrough AC decided to cash-in on it's popularity and shoe-horn fifty pegs in - it wasn't a popular move as the last half dozen were around the back of the island and would invariably result in a blank - not much fun if, as happened quite regularly, you'd travelled up from Barnsley - both Tom Pickering and Dick Clegg were regular attendees.
Fishing the series was a kind of rite of passage for any aspiring young match anglers so after a couple of years of junior matches down at Albert Park I took the plunge and after braving the smoke filled upstairs room of the Broadway pub got my grubby hands on tickets for the four match series and the curtain raiser Lions charity match the week before.

A combination of poor draws and inexperience resulted generally in a final position just outside the top 20 - although one year (1984 I think) I was in the top ten with one match to go - when I drew end-peg 50 - I blanked, scored no points and finished about 15th I think. I didn't bother the following year but by now was fishing Stokesley club matches, Thirsk opens on the Swale and discovered the joys of the Teesside League and North Durham Winter League - both of which often involved fishing some real cess-pits - and in the case of the latter contest a number of far-flung venues that were a long way south of North Durham - Stainforth & Keadby Canal, Shelford Shallows on the Trent (in winter :oops:) and Hallcroft - in the snow.

For a lot of years after that it was matches, practice, matches, practice with a fair bit of pike fishing thrown in too - qualified for the British Pike Final for seven or eight years on the trot - only picked money up once - an 11th placed finish and section win - one out of the main prizes :cry:

Nowadays it's just low-key club matches - all on venues that I enjoy fishing - although since getting the match secretaries job in 1986 on a temporary basis I do consider getting to cherry pick the venues is one small perk of the job - although if they were rubbish I'd soon know 'cos nobody would bother turning up.

I think the main reason that I've kept at it is because it's always changing - new venues, new techniques, new gear, new baits etc - no two days are ever the same.

Simon
 

The Landlord

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Not until I was about 20. I was sitting in the pub with a mate & he asked me if I fancied going fishing the next morning. He put a kit together for me & we got a bus to a local park lake, Caught a tench after half an hour & I was hooked!
I passed my driving test soon after & every weekend, we'd head off to a couple of different park lakes at around 4am on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
Eventually I joined a club who had fortnightly matches on the hallowed Birkenhead Park match lake. Never did very well but then joined another club, Cammell Lairds AC who had their own ponds, a stretch of the Montgomery Canal & they also had a coach trip every fortnight. This is where I really got the bug....won a couple of club matches, joined the match squad for the winter leagues & also fished a couple of nationals on the Witham & Middle Level.
Then life changed when I met the missus & through a few house moves & job changes, fishing took a back seat until about 4 years ago when I got back into it & found this forum. Still don't get out often enough & prefer fishing matches to pleasure fishing. Roll on retirement.
 

Browner

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Started because a friend started and stayed with it because my knees are bu..ered from too much squash and rugby, I broke a collar bone in a judo comp which ended that career, and shooting clays became too expensive.
 

Griffo

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My retired minor grandad got me into it, my dad never fished, but as a kid it was also a way for dad to keep me occupied, he would drop me at Bolton brick ponds on his way to a job and I would either catch two buses home with mi gear or if he wasn’t too late would pick me up. Couple of years of not really knowing what I was doing ( some say that’s still the case 🤪).
Then grandad joined me in the Ivanhoe workings mans fishing club, every Sunday old coach out to the Witham, Trent or stainforth canal, somehow always got the furthest pegs? And whatever you did you never ever fall asleep on the coach home, some of those old minors would be locked up for the pranks they used to pull.
If grandad came on the match I had to help carry his gear as well, only fare, ever seen a pensioner with trench coat and a tin leg try and climb a stile over a barbed wire fence 🤣.
But they would share their secrets with me and that’s when it became fishing. Ever since I have used it as a way to get outdoors and as a de stress from day to day life. Did the clubs then into the local match circuit at fleets but too many bloody good fisherman fishing for Barnsley blacks at the time venue experts so to speak. First house backed on to the river Don, so that was four years of roach fishing in between fending off rats size of cats. Then started chasing barbel around the country and to Spain, then seven years of fluff chucking for trout and salmon, took me to some wild and remote places both hear and overseas, now the legs have gone, back to mainly muddy puddles and still loving it, out today for the fist time in three weeks and first blank of the year, but doesn’t matter, sanity restored. 👍🏼
 

Alantherose

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It all began in my early teens on the south coast for me. A buddy of mine had some rudimental beach-casting gear and we used to fish (badly) in hope of catching any marine dweller we could trick!

Gradually we improved and I caught a few fish from the beach. Also had a few boat trips and had an 18lb cod off the needles when I was fourteen which we took to our friend’s hotel and ate with fresh chips!

Coarse fishing and a bit of fluff chucking followed over the years, but music took charge- playing, recording, touring- until the chance arose again to take up fishing a few years back.

What keeps me going? Wow, that’s a bigger question than it sounds! Not necessarily in order of importance, but...

Mystery
Beauty
Peace
Joy
God
My son
A sense of rhythm in my life
The hunter-gatherer gene
Centrepins and float rods
Hope
 
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